There’s a secret that we at Shervin would like to share with you: you do not own your brand. Your business does not own its brand. We understand that it adds value to your business, and it can motivate you and your employees, and provide direction. It may even make acquiring new clients and customers easier.
So if you don’t own it, who does?
We can tell you: everyone does. Your brand is the total sum of everyone’s perception about it. This even includes your logo, advertising methods, reputation and levels of customer service. If all factors are working in harmony, then all is well. Sadly, we all know of a business where this isn’t the case. A great product may be let down by poor service, or vice versa, and this affects the brand. This is why we think it’s important to have guidelines. Let’s look at the reasons in a little detail:
Branding can improve recognition
Your logo is an important element of your brand. Think of how recognizable the FedEx logo is, for example, or the McDonald’s golden arches. The design is critical, as it has to be not only simple and memorable, but embody what your business is about. We know that designing a logo is deceptively hard, and it’s why many businesses turn to a professional.
Branding builds trust
We understand that you’re more likely to win customers and clients by ‘showing’ you’re professional, rather than just ‘telling’. Branding supports this. Even though we like to think with our heads and not our hearts, our brains are hardwired to react to the emotional responses branding stimulates. This is why a gut reaction is a very real influencer.
Brand guidelines support advertising
The medium of choice in advertising is just as important as the message in building your image. Setting out guidelines can help you decide how best to deliver your message in a way that enhances your brand, as well as making sure that you get the best bang for your advertising buck.
Branding can add financial value
There’s a reason why companies trading on the stock exchange are valued at much more than their hard assets – a healthy brand can guarantee future business. Even if most business owners are not rolling out an IPO, a strong brand can make expansion just that much easier.
Brand guidelines unite employees
If your staff understand your mission, it gives them something to work towards, rather than just work. Strengthening your brand by defining it can inspire them to perform, and give them something to rally around when faced with a challenge.
Word of mouth generates new customers
Could you tell your friend about your new car that you love if you couldn’t remember the brand? You could, but they probably wouldn’t buy one. This is one of the reasons why we think that your brand should leave an indelible impression, and the best way to achieve this is through a structured, methodical approach to building it.
Brand guidelines enable creatives to speak your language
We’ve learned that setting the standard for your marketing materials today can reap rewards tomorrow, regardless of how many vendors you may have worked with. Having solid brand guidelines means that it’s easy to build a rapport, so no matter who works with your brand, you can be sure that they will be consistent in tone and able to articulate your marketing message with much greater ease.
Every successful company has one thing in common: a powerful brand that helps to anchor positivity in the perceptions of its target demographic. Building this is our specialty at Shervin Communications. Call us to learn how we can help you.